Business

Taiwan Added to Global Entry Program

November 1, 2017, 1:50 PM HST
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Taiwan has been added to the US Customs and Border Protection Global Entry program, Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced today.

The decision enables Taiwanese to apply for expedited customs clearance when visiting the United States. American citizens will also be extended similar benefits on arrival in Taiwan.

Sen. Mazie Hirono. U.S. Senate photo.

“Taiwan’s inclusion in the Global Entry program further strengthens our ties to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, and allows CBP to direct security resources to where they are most needed,” said Sen. Hirono.

“I appreciate CBP’s work to finalize this program, which will benefit Hawaiʻi’s visitor industry by making it easier for Taiwanese visitors to travel and do business in Hawaiʻi and the United States,” she added.

According to the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, over 18,000 Taiwanese citizens visited Hawaiʻi in 2016 contributing over $36 million in the state’s economy and supporting over 400 jobs.

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“Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry is grateful that Senator Hirono continues to champion the Hawaiian Islands as a premier international travel destination through the Global Entry Program,” said President and CEO of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Agency, George D. Szigeti.

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“The Senator’s successful efforts to gain approval for Taiwan’s inclusion in this program supports efforts to encourage more of Taiwan’s citizens to book travel to and within the Hawaiian Islands. As more of Taiwan’s travelers utilize the program to explore the islands, the economic benefits will continue to broaden throughout the State,” Szigeti added.

The US Commerce Department estimates approximately 463,000 Taiwanese citizens visited the US in 2016 and spent $2.2 billion, placing Taiwan among the top 20 markets for US travel and tourism exports.

Senator Hirono has been a longtime advocate of expanding the Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs to grow Hawaiʻi’s international visitor industry.

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In 2015, Sen. Hirono led a bipartisan letter to encourage the US Department of Homeland Security to extend Taiwan’s Global Entry membership. In addition, she supported Taiwan joining the Visa Waiver Program which was implemented in 2012. She also led similar efforts in support of Japan, India, and Singapore’s inclusion in the Global Entry program.

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi and Hawaiʻi Lodging and Tourism Association supported the senator in her efforts.

“We’re very pleased that Senator Hirono continues to make significant progress in stimulating safe, secure travel from abroad by expanding the Global Entry Program to our Asian allies,” said Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaiʻi Lodging and Tourism Association. “We hope that streamlining entry for Taiwanese citizens will be a catalyst for more travel to the Hawaiian Islands from this large tourism market, and also ensure that they are made to feel welcome in our home.”

Taiwan joins Canada, South Korea, the Netherlands, Panama, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Switzerland, Argentina, and India as participants in CBP’s Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs.

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